Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Spurrier, 18 June 1793

To John Spurrier

Philadelphia June 18. 1793.


The bearer hereof, Mr. Biddle, is a person whom I have employed as a manager of my farms in Virginia. As I have a mill-seat there for which I wish to find a tenant, I have given him a description of it, and desired him to make some enquiry about Brandywine to see if any body there is disposed to take such a place. As he as well as myself is a stranger there, I take the liberty of desiring him to call on you, in hopes you will be so kind as to advise him how to go to work to look out for a tenant. I have for some time intended to come to Brandywine myself, and still think to do it, if you can give me any hopes of finding a tenant there for my mill seat. I should wish to take up my head quarters with you, if you still have a public house as you had when I had the pleasure of seeing you at Philadelphia. I should also like to know whether we may hope to see your book published. Your advice to the bearer will oblige Sir Your humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr. John Spuryear.”

John Spurrier described himself as “an old experienced farmer, late of the county of Herts, in Great Britain: and now of Brandywine Hundred,” New Castle County, Delaware, on the title page of his book, The Practical Farmer: being a New and Compendious System of Husbandry, adapted to the different soils and climates of America (Wilmington, 1793). See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 702. TJ subscribed to five copies of the work, which Spurrier dedicated to him “as well on account of your being a promoter of every degree of useful knowledge, as by your judicious conduct in public and private life: setting an example worthy of imitation.”

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